BOD5 removal in subsurface flow constructed wetlands
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The frequency of on-site systems for treatment of domestic wastewater is increasing with new residential development in both rural and low-density suburban areas. Subsurface flow constructed wetlands (SFCW) have emerged as a viable option to achieve advanced or secondary treatment of domestic wastewater. The pollutant removal efficiency in SFCW depends on design parameters. Many of these factors have been investigated while others such as aspect ratio, design of water inlet structure and method of dosing the wetland have yet to be fully examined. This study examined the effect of aspect ratio and header design on BOD5 removal efficiency as well as the impact of flow rate on flow distribution in a SFCW. An aspect ratio of 4:1 achieved 10% greater removal of organic matter than a 1:1 ratio. Tracer studies demonstrated that wetlands loaded at a constant rate of 3.8 L/min and 7.6 L/min experienced preferential flow. In addition, tracer studies showed wetlands with leaching chambers as headers failed to achieve equal flow distribution. An improvement in effluent water quality was achieved by replacing the leaching chamber for a perforated manifold as the inlet structure. This study demonstrated the importance of the careful selection of aspect ratio and means by which water is introduced to the wetland in the design of SFCW.
Melton, Rebecca Hobbs (2003). BOD5 removal in subsurface flow constructed wetlands. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from